Influencer Marketing vs. Network Marketing: 3 Similarities Worth Noting

The term “marketing” seems to be thrown about quite a bit. There are conversations around influencer marketing vs. network marketing, digital marketing vs. traditional marketing, and so on.

When you’re a budding entrepreneur, it’s easy to get confused. Are influencer marketing and network marketing different? Or is there any crossover, and would it be possible to engage in both?

These are great questions—let’s break it down.

Big Ideas

  • Influencer marketing and network marketing are more similar than you think
  • Both involve becoming a thought leader in your respective niche
  • Both involve a lot of networking

Before jumping into the similarities between influencer marketing and network marketing, it’s essential to take a moment and look at each independently. 


What are influencer marketing and network marketing?

If you are looking for a fun side hustle or a way to make some extra money, you might find inspiration from influencer marketing and network marketing. These two niche industries are booming, and many people find success in them. But what are they exactly?


Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is a hot buzzword in business—and with good reason. The most highly-skilled individuals in the world significantly influence what is bought and sold in society. 

According to research, 38% of consumers indicate that content and recommendations from their favorite influencers had a direct impact on their purchasing decisions. 

Influencer marketing is the practice of using social media to reach a global audience and share your message with millions of people. This is done by partnering with influential individuals who have large followings. These individuals are known as social media influencers. 

Influencers can be anyone, although most associate them with the likes of celebrities. 

Influencer marketing vs network marketing: the world’s top 50 influencers across social media platforms.

Influencer marketing is becoming more valuable to many companies’ marketing efforts. In fact, studies show that 72.5% of U.S. marketers plan to use influencer marketing in 2022.


Network marketing

On the other hand, network marketing is a business model that involves the direct selling of product(s). People who engage in this type of selling are known as independent contractors or representatives.

Approximately 6.2 million Americans are actively involved in direct selling. In 2020, direct sales grew by 13.9%, generating roughly $40.1 billion in revenue.

direct retail sales image

Network marketing requires a lot of teamwork, as representatives need to market their products to other people. One of the most common ways to do this is via social media.


Influencer marketing vs. network marketing: 3 similarities you may not have noticed

The internet has made it easier than ever to connect with people across the globe. Some of these connections are more meaningful than others, but it’s all about making the most of online platforms. When it comes to marketing, there are two extremely important types of connections: your network and your influence over your network. 

While each has its own separate purpose, there are three similarities between influencer marketing and network marketing:


1. Both require a defined niche

If you’re looking to make money through direct selling, you need to be able to clearly define your niche. 

Your niche is the group of people who can benefit from your product.

It’s the exact same with influencer marketing. You need to understand the people in your target audience and their online presence. Otherwise, you run the risk of going after the wrong targets, which ultimately wastes your time and theirs.  

Not sure how to begin defining your niche? Keep this simple idea in mind:

You can’t appeal to everyone.

When it comes to influencer marketing vs. network marketing, you need to find your people. These people will:

  • Need what you have to offer
  • Share your ideals and values
  • Want to be/stay connected

Think of your niche simply as your community or your tribe. Soon enough, you’ll know exactly who to target. 


2. Both must uphold a stellar brand image

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, whether you’re in direct sales or working with a large company. Both influencer marketing and network marketing require you to live up to your brand. This means putting yourself out there in a way that reflects your brand. It also means you need to be willing to read, engage with, and reward your followers. 

Practice what you preach! By following your own advice, you’ll be that much closer to expanding your network and sharing your message with the people who really matter.


3. Both require an understanding of social media marketing

Social media marketing is becoming more critical in both influencer marketing and network marketing. These days, most people use social media on a daily basis. As a result, you can’t succeed in this industry without having a firm grasp of social media marketing. 

You need to understand the platforms, what they have to offer, and most importantly, which ones your audience are using. One of the best ways to get started in social media marketing is simply diving in and engaging with others. 

Start building relationships with all types of people. Once you have a solid foundation, you can start reaching out to influencers and your target audience.

You can build your own business from the bottom up, target a niche audience, and create a long-term business that puts you in control of your future. You have the opportunity to turn your passion into something that will make you happy every single day.

Need some encouragement? Then make sure to check out some of the inspirational stories featured on our Instagram!